The following blog post has caused me to wonder about many things, but the teaching of critical thinking skills–or rather its lack–makes me wonder about the future of our public educational system. Although the author discusses other topics related to education in his post, it’s the critical thinking that caught my eye–mostly because critical thinking is so important in every aspect of our lives, whether we realize it or not. Without critical thinking, can there be true creative thinking? Is there any aspect of learning–and life in general–that is not affected by thinking critically about something? Remember, critical thinking does not mean we look for the negative in everything; it means we weigh pros and cons, think about the past, and plan for the future, among other things.
Take a few minutes to click over to the blog below. See if you there are other aspects of education that you think are more important for the general well-being of American society. Then think about whether or not we should be judging a teacher’s ability to teach on his/her ability to teach to the test and to teach test-taking skills instead of just teach for learning with a bit of practice in taking state tests.
Enough said on this topic for now. I’ll return to it at another time. Meanwhile, read on.
Document Outlines 7 Elements Needed to Transform Teaching
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan says, “The principles outlined in the document represent ways to strengthen and elevate teaching as one of our nation’s most valued and respected professions.”
The document apparently focuses on three main goals: 1) ensuring all students are challenged to meet a high bar that prepares them for college, career, and citizenship; 2) narrowing the opportunity and access gap between more and less privileged populations of students; and, 3) preparing all students to be globally competitive
Here are the seven core principles that make up the elements of achieving these goals. They include
A culture of shared responsibility and leadership;
Recruiting top talent into schools prepared for success;
Continuous growth and professional development;
Effective teachers and principals;
A professional career continuum with competitive compensation;
Conditions that support successful teaching and learning; and
Find the link to the document from which this data came by clicking on the link below:
Let us dispel the myth that teachers have the summer “off.” It seems things haven’t changed much since I left K-12 teaching more than a decade ago. And, according to this article, teacher summers are the same in other parts of the world, as well.
First, put to rest the “fact” that teachers get paid for the summer. Teachers may arrange to be paid through the summer by requesting their 9-month salary be distributed over 12 months. Thus, they do not get paid for the summer. Big difference.
Second, because teacher pay is so low and the daily time expenditure during the school year huge, many teachers must seek additional employment during the summer months to make ends meet, to pay for student loans, to pay for graduate and professional development courses, etc. Those teachers who can afford it attend university for graduate and post-baccalaureate education courses to fulfill state credentialing requirements, which are ongoing.